Poker is a card game played by two or more people. The object of the game is to get a better hand than your opponents. This is accomplished by betting and bluffing. In the end the best hand wins. The game is primarily a game of chance, but skill and psychology are important.
Each player buys in with chips of a certain value. Usually these are white, but other colors are used as well. Each player then takes a turn being the dealer for the round. This means that the player to his left gets first to act and then each person clockwise around the table has a chance to bet, call or raise. When the player who is the dealer reveals his or her hand the betting ends and the person with the best five card poker hand wins the pot.
Once the first round of betting is complete the dealer puts three cards face up on the table. These are community cards that anyone can use in their poker hand. This is called the flop. Now the players in the hand have a second chance to bet, raise or fold. Alex has a pair of kings off the deal which are not bad but not good either. He checks (this means he calls and doesn’t owe anything to the pot). Dennis raises and puts a dime into the pot. You decide to call and put a dime in the pot as well.
This is the reason that position in poker is so important. Having the right position lets you bluff with more ease and with better results. It’s also why it’s best to play at the same table over and over again, at least when you are starting out. This allows you to watch the other players and learn their tells (eye movements, idiosyncrasies, hand gestures, betting behavior etc.).
When the flop comes and you’re in early position you should open your hands up a little bit more, but not too much. You still want to be playing mostly strong poker hands pre-flop, especially if you’re in EP or MP.
The best way to learn poker is by playing with a group of people who know how to play and are willing to help you improve your game. Having a mentor is a great idea and can help you to make big improvements quickly. It’s also a great idea to read some books on the subject as they will give you a good foundation for understanding how to play poker. Lastly, it’s important to practice your poker skills by playing online or in a local game room for fun with friends.